Three killed, PS Maawy injured in Al-Shabaab raid

Thursday July 13 2017

By KALUME KAZUNGU
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By MOHAMED AHMED
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Three people were Thursday killed and Public Works Principal Secretary Maryam El Maawy injured in an attack by Al-Shabaab.

Ms Maawy was shot in the shoulder and legs after being abducted in Milihoi, on the Mpeketoni-Lamu road.

The Kenya Defence Forces and General Service Unit rescued her and rushed her to Mpeketoni Hospital.

She was later moved to Manda Airbase awaiting transfer to Nairobi.

HIJACKED
Among those killed was a police officer guarding the PS.

The other two were civilians in a lorry that was also hijacked by the attackers before being released later.

A pilot trainee who was with the PS is feared to have been abducted by the terrorists.

KDF SOLDIERS

The young man is a son of one of ward administrators in Lamu. Sources said he could not be reached on phone.

In a daring attack, the militia took control of the PS’s vehicle with six occupants and sped off.

Reports indicated that those in the Prado were the PS, four policemen and a driver.

However, on realising KDF were pursuing them, the militants killed one of the occupants and left the PS injured.

FREED
Ms Maawy had attended a meeting on Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport Corridor at Huduma Centre in Lamu town before heading to Witu.

In a related incident, the loader of a lorry heading to Lamu was abducted at the same place.

But the militants allowed the driver of the lorry to go free.

Police intercepted the driver at Ndeu road block in Hindi, and he is being questioned.

SHABAAB
A car said to be that of a Lamu Senate candidate rolled as the driver tried to escape from attackers on the same stretch of road.

An unknown number of occupants were injured and rushed to Mpeketoni Hospital.

The KDF Public Affairs officer, Col Joseph Owuoth, said soldiers patrolling the Mkunumbi, Mpeketoni and Hindi areas received information from a local that a vehicle carrying Ms Maawy had been hijacked by Al-Shabaab.

“Immediately, a helicopter was dispatched to the area and officers were able to trace the Prado, which was hidden under a tree,” Col Owuoth said.

RESCUE
He said after identifying the location of the Prado, KDF followed the car using the helicopter.

“On realising that the vehicle they had hijacked was being followed, the driver of the vehicle sped off and unfortunately it rolled and caught fire a few kilometres away,” Col Owuoth said.

He said after the car rolled and caught fire, it was discovered to have burnt with one unidentified person inside.

“KDF managed to rescue one woman. I am yet to confirm whether the woman is indeed the PS but people on the ground say she is incoherent and that they need more time to identify her,” he added.

CASUALTIES
The attack occurred as Coast regional coordinator Nelson Marwa addressed a meeting at Mpeketoni.

Mr Marwa and other top government officials refused to speak to the media about the incident and instead rushed to Mpeketoni Hospital.

Coast administration police boss James Akoru had earlier confirmed the incident, saying it occurred at 3pm.

SECURITY

Mr Akoru told Nation that a team, including GSU officers, had been dispatched to the scene. 

“We have received the information just now. We do not know who the occupants are and how many they are. Our officers are following up,” Mr Akoru said on phone. 

The incident happened hours after Mr Marwa flew to Lamu for a security meeting.

EVACUATION
His visit comes few days after the government launched air strikes against the terrorists who are believed to be hiding in the vast Boni Forest. 

The government increased the air strikes after attacks by the militants, in which 13 died, including four police officers.

During his address in Mpeketoni, Mr Marwa said residents who had been evacuated after last week’s attack were “well secured”.